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11 minute read

Essential Knowledge: European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)

September 21, 2023

Please note: This post has been updated to reflect the new expected ETIAS implementation date.

Important update: The launch of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) – originally slated for mid-2024 – is now postponed to 2025. 

In 2025, current European Union and Schengen member countries will require all travelers from visa-exempt countries (including the U.S.) to obtain a new form of documentation prior to entry: the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). This new form is not a visa, but rather a travel authorization for short-term stays.

The United States already requires something similar for folks who travel here from other countries. It's called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA. Now, with the ETIAS, Europe will strive to ensure the safety of travelers within its borders and make your European vacation more secure.

The pre-travel screening process can be completed online, will take about 10 minutes, and will cost less than $10. Read on for more information.

  1. What is the ETIAS?
  2. When does the ETIAS go into affect?
  3. Which European countries will require ETIAS authorization?
  4. Who needs to apply for the ETIAS?
  5. How do I apply for the ETIAS?
  6. What will I need in order to apply?
  7. How far ahead should I apply?
  8. How long is my ETIAS valid?
  9. FAQ


What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, a new travel authorization database that the EU will be implementing sometime in 2025. According to a European Commission press release:

"The ETIAS authorization is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalization countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorization via ETIAS prior to their travel... An ETIAS travel authorization does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application...and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure."


When does the ETIAS go into effect?

The ETIAS will be implemented sometime in 2025. The exact date of ETIAS implementation is not yet known. An announcement with the starting date is expected to be made before the end of 2024.


Which European countries will require ETIAS authorization?

The ETIAS will be required for all travelers visiting countries within the European Union and Schengen Area:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland.


Who needs to apply for the ETIAS?

All non-visa travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS authorization prior to entry into any of the above European countries. The U.S. is included in this list. For a full list of visa-exempt countries, click here.


How do I apply for the ETIAS?

You'll need a passport, and significantly less cash than this.

The official start date of the ETIAS has not been announced, but we have some information about what the application process will be like. You'll need a few documents and an internet connection in order to obtain your travel authorization.

First, you'll complete an online application via a dedicated website or mobile app. This application is expected to take 10–20 minutes to complete.  The automated assessment process will start immediately after the application is submitted, and the vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95%) will be approved within minutes. You'll receive an email with confirmation of your ETIAS submission, and after approval, you'll receive an email response confirming your travel authorization.

Your ETIAS authorization is digitally linked to your passport, so you do not need to bring any physical documents with you (though printing your authorization email just to be safe is never a bad idea). Upon arrival at a border crossing point, the border guard will be able to electronically read the travel document data after scanning your passport.


What will I need in order to apply?

The ETIAS will require such information as biometric data (e.g., name, gender, date of birth, etc.), passport information, health information, criminal record, and previous EU immigration history, if applicable (see a full list of requirements here).

  • Personal information including your name(s), date and place of birth, sex, nationalities, home address, email address, and phone number(s)
  • Your parents’ first name(s)
  • Passport information
  • Your level of education and current occupation
  • The country of your first intended stay and the address of your destination
  • Details about any past criminal convictions, past travels to war or conflict zones, past immigration information, and whether you have recently been the subject of a return decision
  • Health information such as details about medical conditions, infectious diseases, and contagious parasitic diseases

More details on application requirements can be found here.

Additionally, if you're between the ages of 18 and 70, you will need to pay 7EUR to submit your application. Those who are not within this age range will not need to pay a fee.


How far ahead should I apply?

As the measure doesn't go into effect until 2025, the application website has not been made public yet. Once it has, we recommend you apply at least several weeks before your trip as a precaution (although to reiterate, some 95% of authorizations will be approved and available to print within minutes).

The EU recommends applying before you book any travel accommodations or transportation as a safety measure, in case additional information is needed for your authorization.


How long is my ETIAS valid?

Your ETIAS will be valid for multiple entries over a period of three years or until the date of your passport expiry, whichever is sooner. A valid ETIAS entitles you to stay in the applicable countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period.



A list of FAQ can be found here.

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